Politicking, Ignorance and Inactivity Create Potential for Conflict.
Republican prisoners Roe 4, Maghaberry Gaol, ceased protest actions in November 2012 to create the space for a dialectical process of engagement to resolve all outstanding issues, such as controlled movement, forced strip searching and isolation of Republican prisoners. Throughout this process we have made clear our position to a variety of bodies, individuals and organisations. This has led to widespread criticism of the gaol administration and their corrupt regime from various quarters including consecutive prisoner ombudsman, C.J.I.N.I and Dáil politicians.
The Gaol administration spurred on by the N.I.O, MI5 and David Ford have responded to logic, common sense and the weight of progressive opinion with deceit, subterfuge and intransigence. They have taken deliberate steps to provoke Republican prisoners in order to distract us from our campaign. This includes attacking our families through recent plans to downgrade our already excessively intrusive and unacceptable visiting arrangements.
The potential negative implications of such behaviour were recently addressed by Dáil TD’s. Obviously concerned by this public intervention by TD’s Éamon Ó Cuív, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Maureen O Sullivan, Thomas Pringle and others, the so-called Justice Minister responded with the usual N.I.O rhetoric. Furthermore Sinn Féin and the S.D.L.P have been notable by their absence. To suggest Sinn Féin’s lack of interest is due, merely to political impotence in these matters only serves to conceal their true intentions and their devious subliminal use of the “dark side” to press forward with their mutual necessity to crush Irish political prisoners. This is a pre-requisite from a Sinn Fein and MI5 perspective to criminalise the present Republican struggle and its activists. Constitutional nationalist politicians, who live and work in our communities, have abandoned political prisoners leaving our plight to be addressed by politician’s based ninety miles away.
Claiming to hold political power entails responsibility for the treatment of political prisoners. The on-going and intensifying attacks on Republican prisoners and our families have created the potential for conflict. Sound bites such as “we are against strip searching” and calls for a resolution are no substitute for solid political action. Republican prisoners will resist all attempts to criminalise us. David Ford and the quislings in Stormont should let history be their guide.
Nathan Hastings PRO
Roe 4, Maghaberry.